This is a casserole I can get behind— jumbo shells filled with kale and ricotta cheese, nestled and baked into a rich and flavorful butternut squash sauce.
As much as I love to cook and play around in the kitchen, I actually have a small number of dinner recipes I cycle through, with a few experiments thrown into the mix from time to time. This recipe is one such experiment that went over so well it’s made it into the inner circle and become a regular during this time of year.
I’ve already made it three times this season, which considering it’s only the beginning of October, tells you just how much we love it.
Butternut squash is one of my favorite fall and winter flavors, but oddly enough I’m not a big fan of its texture as it is post-roast. And so I puree it, along with other great things like onions, fresh herbs and cream, and put it on everything or serve it straight from the blender as a simple yet wonderful soup.
This particular recipe was born out of the need to find more uses for my beloved butternut squash sauce, and it’s now perhaps my favorite use for it. We just barely had it last week and I’m already looking forward to when I can make it again!
A few recipe notes
>> There are a few steps to this recipe, but it can all be made ahead. I like to prepare everything in the morning and refrigerate it until I’m ready to bake it that evening.
>> The butternut squash sauce freezes really well, so if you have leftovers or would like to make it in advance, pour it into a tupperware with a screw top lid and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. It will also last in the fridge for up to 1 week.
>> If you’d like, spinach can be used instead of kale.
>> Some of the jumbo shells will break during cooking, so I’ve included a few more in the list of ingredients than you’ll actually need.
>> The shells will also stick together after they’ve been cooked and drained, so toss them with a tablespoon of olive oil or arrange them on a greased sheet pan (not touching) until you’re ready to assemble.
Some of my blogging friends and I are taking on the challenge to eat seasonally. Check out Vintage Mixer’s guide to what’s in season this month and join us, won’t you?
Beet Braised Lentils with Thyme and Apples from Simple Bites
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Sliders from Climbing Grier Mountain
Warm Spinach Salad with Mushroom-Bacon Vinaigrette from Mountain Mama Cooks
Apple Bread with Brown Butter Glaze from Two Peas and their Pod
Microwave Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal from Project Domestication
Pumpkin Butter Smoothie from Kitchen Confidante
Mini Chicken Pot Pies from My Name is Yeh
Fall Frisee Salad from Cafe Johnsonia
Fried Green Tomatoes Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Foodie Crush
Carrot and Date Bran Muffins from Vintage Mixer